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Waysted - 1986 Save Your Prayers

ARTIST: Waysted
ALBUM: Save Your Prayers
SERIAL: CDP 564-7 94229 2
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2004, Majestic Rock, MAJCD035 * 2013, Hear No Evil Recordings * HNECD011


LINEUP: Danny Vaughn - vocals * Pete Way - bass * Paul Chapman - guitars * John DiTeodoro ('Johnny Dee') - drums * Simon Hanhart - producer

TRACK LISTING: 01 Walls Fall Down * 02 Black And Blue * 03 Singing To The Night * 04 Hell Comes Home * 05 Heroes Die Young * 06 Heaven Tonight * 07 How The West Was Won * 08 Wild Night * 09 Out Of Control *10 So Long



In 1985, vocalist Fin Muir left Waysted after two albums and an EP. Enter American vocalist Danny Vaughn, who had previously worked with Paul Chapman in a short-lived project called D.O.A. A concert at Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv in front of 15,000 people as part of a festival and a brief session held at Abbey Road Studios convinced the band and EMI respectively that Vaughn was the right choice. Johnny Dee (Britny Fox and Doro future drummer) also joined at this point. The songwriting team of Way/Chapman/Vaughn crafted a melodic rock classic, even though the vocalist's contribution (lyrics and vocal melodies) was not acknowledged on the album credits, becoming a source of internal crisis after the release.

The Songs
This is melodic hard rock at its best. Simon Hanhart's (Saxon) production is worth mentioning, his work on vocals and drums creating a proper 80's album while the guitars and piano have often times a 70's feel that contributes to avoid it sounding outdated like many 80's albums. 'Walls Fall Down' opens in true 80's metal fashion, big guitars, thunderous drumming and crystal clear urgent Vaughn's vocals, a world of difference from Fin's sandpaper throat. 'Black & Blue' is the first melodic gem, melancholic in lyrics and cadence. I can clearly see Vaughn's lyrics written all over, his take on frustration towards an unfair world and uncertain future. 'Singing To The Night' is the opposite, a happy AOR anthem with a chorus to die for. A song I love to wake up and to open my windows with it on the player. Clean arpeggios alternate with distorted guitars and piano to create a delicious tune. 'Hell Comes Home' is dark, menacing, yet very melodic. Vocals are mean, emphasizing the anti-guns lyrics. A song to listen with the lights off, that's how I like it. 'Heroes Die Young' is a fabulous song, starts as a piano ballad and around the one minute mark turns into hard melodic heaven. A sing-along chorus mixes the best of American and European AOR. Guitars and drums set the pace to Vaughn's singing, this time on everyday common heroes, the truly kind of ones. 'Heaven Tonight' is the definition of 80's power ballad for me. This is a remake of the Fin sang song from 'The Good, The Bad and The Waysted', Waysted's previous album. I dare to say this is the definitive version. It was the first single and video off 'Save Your Prayers'. Vaughn's voice gives a melodic touch not lacking any strength. The piano intro, the staccato rhythm and the incredible catchy fills are heavenly. The guitar solo is made to be sang note for note. Chapman's guitar tone is so sweet and tasty it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. I remember trying to catch the video in 1986 and watching it as many times as possible. 'How The West Was Won' is another winner. Starts subtle on piano and turns into another melodic gem with a killer chorus. The original release rounds up with the fast and furious 'Wild Night', the hard rocker 'Out Of Control' and the guitar driven ballad 'So Long' appropriately ending a fabulous album.

In Summary
'Save Your Prayers' reached #185 on the US Billboard Hot 200 albums in early 1987. It should have sold millions (where did I read that?). The band toured supporting Iron Maiden and Status Quo but that was it. Chapman left (according to himself) or was fired (according to Way). Vaughn tried to get Reb Beach as Chapman's replacement, however Way didn't think Beach was the right choice. Waysted broke up after the tour. Nothing would be heard of the band until 2000. Danny Vaughn released two more classics: Tyketto's 1991 'Don't Come Easy' and From The Inside's 2004 ST. 'Save Your Prayers' was his first official recording, his first video ('Heaven Tonight') and a splendid album. Several reissues have been released, 2004's Majestic Rock and 2013's Hear No Evil my favorites, both with worthy bonus tracks. This is a hell of an album and a melodic rock milestone that, like many others, didn't get the recognition it deserved. Should be in any serious melodic rock's collection.

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#1 | dtabachn on September 23 2016 17:04:28
Waysted - 1986 - Heaven Tonight

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#2 | dtabachn on September 23 2016 17:10:34
Waysted - 1986 - Heroes Die Young

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#3 | Nick C on October 27 2016 16:47:30
I listened to this a day ago or so, I don't often listen to it and I'll probably get in trouble for this but I gotta say for me this is the least of the first wave of Waysted albums. All the raunch and edge that made Waysted .... Waysted, is smoothed away. Heaven Tonight is completely ruined and although Fin may not have been the most accomplished of singers he was perfect for this band. Having said that I'm not a huge fan of the 1st Tyketto either (or the 2nd..I gave up after that) apart from a couple of songs. I'm going to have to spin The Good, The Bad and the Waysted to stop this sickly sugar from rotting my brain further....and then some Pablo Cruise maybe...god I'm such a contradiction.

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